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Archive for July, 2008

Celebrating~ Blessed and Breaking Through

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
—Pope John XXIII (1881-1963), 261st Pope of the Roman Catholic Church
www foundationforabetterlife.org

~

I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.”

-Nikki Giovanni , Poet, Author, Extraordinary Human Being, Lecturer, Activist

http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/nikki_giovanni/quotes

Friends the honor was all mine; it was a surreal moment my holding the hand of one of the Moton School Student Protestors ( a spry senior citizen), meeting Julian Bond up close, taking a photo with Blair Underwood and chatting with the incomparable, esteemed, noble, tremendous poetess sister Nikki Giovanni. I really wanted to jump up and down and scream, “Nikki, Nikki it’s really you in the flesh!” -but I think, well I’d like to believe that I was very composed as my husband and step daughter stood at the book signing table and smiled at wonderful Nikki.I had no clue that I’d be so privileged to have this divine encounter with one of my favorite poets! She was extremely cordial to us as we reminisced about our love for her poetry It’s My House and her spoken word album and how during our college days her words ignited our hearts on and on and on.

Just an hour or so earlier she had dazzled our souls again, as she had given a heart rendering, heart clapping, heart song of a powerful celebratory poem honoring the wonderful and timely occasion saluting the unsung children who were heroines and heroes of the Virginia Civil Rights Movement. This historic occasion was an important moment in time and there we were witnessing the unveiling of a Civil Rights Monument that beautifully honored some very courageous youngsters that marched out of a segregated school causing this very act to snowball nationally into the Brown vs. Board of Education. Some of the surviving students that had been grade schoolers which protested shabby treatment and a substandard education, now stood proudly before the world being honored and validated as change agents in this national the Civil Rights Movement! These fearless children now seasoned senior citizens are a testament that God does honor His own.

Well friends I can’t share an audio, but I certainly can share this link http://www.vacivilrightsmemorial.org/memorial/render/ and hope you’ll take the time to marvel at this very historical occasion and possibly venture out of your comfort zones to downtown Richmond,Virginia’s Capitol Square -find your way to this historic monument and converse with your travel companions and the other onlookers about the significance of placing a memorial depicting individuals from all walks of life ( especially the young African American girl leading the way) – hopeful, courageous, and insightful moving through the stony walls of all of societies ills and biases. I’d like to believe with you also that a new day in dawning! No this isn’t simply symbolish, but a new reality and a new opportunity to celebrate a national movement, the pioneers and the significance of a child’s vision!

We can without reluctance embrace the notion that God does delight us and awaken us with wonderful occasions to celebrate our humanity and dignity and even witness in the flesh another phenomenal human being, another heart lesson for our good. To all the change agents who seek to live a better life and make a difference- I praise God for you!!! Take a bow Nikki, take a bow Julian, and take a bow all who know that the spirit of Barbara Johns that lives within us!

…the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43: 1-3

Lord thank you! What a day, what a day, I lift my hands in praise to you!!!

Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows

The Blessedness of Believing-
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises
blessedlm@hotmail.com

All rights reserved, no use without prior written permission of Linda M. Meadows

BABY LOVE NOTES

THERE WILL BE CRYING
There will be crying, but it will be alright.

Have you ever had to face something that you knew would be painful? A breakup, a task, a conversation, a procedure, a confrontation, a move….

After 5 years, my granddaughters and their parents were moving out of our house. My son and his wife purchased a small house in a community to the south of the city we lived in. Not a long distance away, but an unacceptable distance as far as Zakiya was concerned.

“I’m not going.” She would announce mustering as much 4 year old defiance as she could. Christina was packing up the girl’s playroom. Her mother and I tried to make the transition as smooth and exciting for her as we could. We told her about having her own room, making new friends, more space for toys. We reminded her that she would have a larger playroom and be able to bring out many more dolls and books and games than she could at my house. Zakiya looked from her mother to me and back to her mother again. She stretched out her arms in a “pick me up” gesture and stepped closer to her Mom. Christina picked Zakiya up and in demulcent tones told Zakiya, “We are going to have great fun in our new home”. Zakiya brought her face to her Momma’s and cheek to cheek whispered “You know, there will be crying, but it will be alright”. With that said, she wriggled out of her mother’s arms and left us – conversation over.

Zakiya did cry. She cried and said that she did not want to go. She cried and said that she would go if Nana and Papa would go with her. She cried and said good-bye. She cried and just left. She stopped crying…eventually.

All of us will experience some type of change or transition during the course of our lives. Sometimes it will be hard…hard to tears. But if we would just go, whether we want to or not, if we would just continue on whether someone goes with us or not, if we would keep it moving, maybe we could let go of the pains and hurts and discomfort and fears and apprehensions of change, and well, overcome. Try to remember:

Be fearful for nothing, little flock, for it pleases the Father to give you the
Kingdom. – Luke 12:32

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear, what can man do unto me – Psalm 118:6

Jesus Said, I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

For we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience; hope. Romans 5:3-4

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. – 1 John 5:4

Be encouraged as I was encouraged watching patience have it’s perfect work* in Zakiya, because you know, there will be crying, but it will be alright!

Peace and Love,
Renita

*James 1:3 and 4 KJV

Writer, Renita F. Shadwick, is Community Builder @ United Way of Buffalo, New York. Thisveteran actress of Paul Robeson Theatre is also an anointed licensed Children’s Pastor of Elim Christian Church of Buffalo, NY. She is currently working on series of children’s books-teaching children how to walk out the word of God in sneakers. She is married to her soul mate of 25 years, Jerome Shadwick, Sr. and is the proud mother of four sons, three grandsons and four grand daughters which are the inspiration of these writings.
You are invited to leave comments about Baby Love Notes-have a great day!!!

COME HOME

The best part of my day, everyday is climbing the stairs to the entrance of our home, turning the doorknob and pushing the door open. Zakiya, Zeruiah and Zeneta all shout “Nana”! They come running from wherever they are, and throw themselves at me. It does not matter what I may be carrying, it does not matter what mood I am in, It does not matter what physical state I am in, they fling themselves at me and hold on to me giggling. They usually ask to carry my purse or briefcase, (the baby dragging a plastic bag of my shoes behind her) as they accompany me to my bedroom. “Let me take your coat, Nana”. “Sit down, Nana, I can pull your boots off”. “Here, Nana, here is your bottle of water” “Nana, let me give you a kiss”….. These little darlings and I are excited to see each other.

Coming home brings me to them. I open a door and walk into love. And they bring me comfort. They attend to me with joy. And all I did was come home. Come home…Come. Jesus bids us “Come” many times in the New Testament. He says come and He will make us fishers of men, He says let the children come for of such is the Kingdom of God, He said if any man thirst, come.
Finally for all of us that labour and are heavy laden, Jesus says to come, and he will give us rest.

My friend Larniece shared this:
C – Christ
O – Offers
M – Me
E – Everything

I pray that at the end of your day you will come home to HIM for I am sure you will find an excited love, that carries your burdens, comforts and refreshes.

Peace and Love,

Renita Shadwick

Writer, Renita F. Shadwick, is Community Builder @ United Way of Buffalo, New York. Thisveteran actress of Paul Robeson Theatre is also an anointed licensed Children’s Pastor of Elim Christian Church of Buffalo, NY. She is currently working on series of children’s books-teaching children how to walk out the word of God in sneakers. She is married to her soul mate of 25 years, Jerome Shadwick, Sr. and is the proud mother of four sons, three grandsons and four grand daughters which are the inspiration of these writings.

You are invited to leave comments about Baby Love Notes-have a great day!!!

PAPA

by Renita F. Shadwick

…You have set your gloryabove the heavens.2 From the lips of children and infantsyou have ordained praise [fn2]because of your enemies,to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:1, 2

“Papa” By the time Zakiya was 9 months old, she had a full fledged love affair going on with her paternal grandfather. She would say “Papa” over and over and over. Zakiya would climb up onto his lap and holding his bearded face in her pudgy little hands, she would stroke his whiskers until they both broke out in peals of laughter.When he would repose in his big chair, she would squeeze herself behind him and simply rub his head, sometimes to his distraction. She could often be found on the floor, either between his legs, where she would try to walk, holding on to each limb like a railing, or sitting at his feet, rubbing his toes, or sitting on his feat, resting herself against his legs. She would pat his back. She would rub his chest. She would plant big wet baby kisses all over his face and hands. She would follow him everywhere in the house, reaching up to gain purchase of hand or shirt tail or trouser leg. She would bust into our bedroom in the morning with a big snaggle tooth grin and climb onto Papa.

In the evening, her parents would usually find her curled up in Papa’s arms, and from his arms they would put her to bed. With great amusement I watched this baby behave like this with my husband.

Jerome’s heart would swell with joy everytime that little tyke came his way. He said “I’ll never be able to deny her anything, she loves me so sweetly.”

A few days after Jerome made this statement, Zakiya taught me about loving without condition. My daughter-in-law was sitting on the couch in our living room holding an almost asleep Zakiya, who was noisily sucking on a her bottle. The front door of our home announced Jerome’s return from work. Zakiya sat up. As his footsteps introduced his entry into the hallway, Zakiya squealed “Papa”, and dropping her bottle, squirmed out of her mother’s arms and went straightway to meet him. As he entered the room, Zakiya flung herself at his legs.

“Hold on now baby”, Jerome said, “Let Papa sit his case down”.”Papa!””Can I take off my shoes, little girl?””Papa!””Just let me go to the bathroom, my baby.””Papa!”

Zakiya would not stop calling him or following him until he stopped and gave all of his attention to her. Just her. Him and her. In that moment, love would abound.I pray that you develop such a desire for God, for the things of God, for the smell of God, for the Word of God, for the person of God, for the presence of God, that you would move with all abandon to get to Him.I pray that when you have your meeting with God, that you would fill the time just loving Him. Holding His beard, kissing His face, sitting at His feet.

I pray that just like Zakiya, you would chase him, calling on that Great Name, making your desire for him so personal, so intimate, so desperate, regardless of who may be holding you, regardless of what you may be consuming, in spite of what ever level of comfort you may have,I pray that you would chase Him hard. Until He would turn to you – in the middle of holding this world together, turn to you – as he processes the prayers of the Saints, turn to you, set aside time for you, catch you up in His arms, just you.

You and Him…. Papa!

LOVE SCRIPTURE:

1 O Lord, our Lord,how majestic is your name in all the earth!You have set your gloryabove the heavens.2 From the lips of children and infantsyou have ordained praise [fn2]because of your enemies,to silence the foe and the avenger.3 When I consider your heavens,the work of your fingers,the moon and the stars,which you have set in place,4 what is man that you are mindful of him,the son of man that you care for him?5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [fn3]and crowned him with glory and honor.6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;you put everything under his feet:7 all flocks and herds,and the beasts of the field,8 the birds of the air,and the fish of the sea,all that swim the paths of the seas.9 O Lord, our Lord,how majestic is your name in all the earth!Psalm 8 (NIV)

Writer, Renita F. Shadwick, is Community Builder @ United Way of Buffalo, New York. Thisveteran actress of Paul Robeson Theatre is also an anointed licensed Children’s Pastor of Elim Christian Church of Buffalo, NY. She is currently working on series of children’s books-teaching children how to walk out the word of God in sneakers. She is married to her soul mate of 25 years, Jerome Shadwick, Sr. and is the proud mother of four sons, three grandsons and four grand daughters which are the inspiration of these writings.

You are invited to leave comments about Baby Love Notes-have a great day!!!

All rights reserved. No part of these writings may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written consent of the Publisher.

BABY LOVE NOTES~ PAPA by Renita F. Shadwick

…You have set your glory
above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
[fn2]
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:1, 2
“Papa”

By the time Zakiya was 9 months old, she had a full fledged love affair going on with her paternal grandfather. She would say “Papa” over and over and over. Zakiya would climb up onto his lap and holding his bearded face in her pudgy little hands, she would stroke his whiskers until they both broke out in peals of laughter.

When he would repose in his big chair, she would squeeze herself behind him and simply rub his head, sometimes to his distraction. She could often be found on the floor, either between his legs, where she would try to walk, holding on to each limb like a railing, or sitting at his feet, rubbing his toes, or sitting on his feat, resting herself against his legs. She would pat his back. She would rub his chest. She would plant big wet baby kisses all over his face and hands. She would follow him everywhere in the house, reaching up to gain purchase of hand or shirt tail or trouser leg. She would bust into our bedroom in the morning with a big snaggle tooth grin and climb onto Papa.

In the evening, her parents would usually find her curled up in Papa’s arms, and from his arms they would put her to bed. With great amusement I watched this baby behave like this with my husband.

Jerome’s heart would swell with joy everytime that little tyke came his way. He said “I’ll never be able to deny her anything, she loves me so sweetly”.

A few days after Jerome made this statement, Zakiya taught me about loving without condition. My daughter-in-law was sitting on the couch in our living room holding an almost asleep Zakiya, who was noisily sucking on a her bottle. The front door of our home announced Jerome’s return from work. Zakiya sat up. As his footsteps introduced his entry into the hallway, Zakiya squealed “Papa”, and dropping her bottle, squirmed out of her mother’s arms and went straightway to meet him. As he entered the room, Zakiya flung herself at his legs.

“Hold on now baby”, Jerome said, “Let Papa sit his case down”.
“Papa!”
“Can I take off my shoes, little girl?”
“Papa!”
“Just let me go to the bathroom, my baby.”
“Papa!”

Zakiya would not stop calling him or following him until he stopped and gave all of his attention to her. Just her. Him and her. In that moment, love would abound.

I pray that you develop such a desire for God, for the things of God, for the smell of God, for the Word of God, for the person of God, for the presence of God, that you would move with all abandon to get to Him.

I pray that when you have your meeting with God, that you would fill the time just loving Him. Holding His beard, kissing His face, sitting at His feet.

I pray that just like Zakiya, you would chase him, calling on that Great Name, making your desire for him so personal, so intimate, so desperate, regardless of who may be holding you, regardless of what you may be consuming, in spite of what ever level of comfort you may have,

I pray that you would chase Him hard. Until He would turn to you – in the middle of holding this world together, turn to you – as he processes the prayers of the Saints, turn to you, set aside time for you, catch you up in His arms, just you.

You and Him…. Papa!

LOVE SCRIPTURE:
1 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise [fn2]
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [fn3]
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8 (NIV)

Writer, Renita F. Shadwick, is Community Builder @ United Way of Buffalo, New York. This
veteran actress of Paul Robeson Theatre is also an anointed licensed Children’s Pastor of Elim Christian Church of Buffalo, NY. She is currently working on series of children’s books-teaching children how to walk out the word of God in sneakers. She is married to her soul mate of 25 years, Jerome Shadwick, Sr. and is the proud mother of four sons, three grandsons and four grand daughters which are the inspiration of these writings.

You are invited to leave comments about Baby Love Notes-have a great day!!!

All rights reserved. No part of these writings may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written consent of the Publisher.

INSPIRATIONAL LOVE

Inspirational Love

Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This is truly an amazing quote to me that I’ve just stumbled upon; it was just a moment ago and there it was as I was scanning my email! We know that that was God’s doing? I am trying to locate just the right baby photo that conveys love! Honestly, I don’t believe there is just one photo, but a collection of photos. Each baby photo I’ve selected reminded me of scripture- God’s strength, God’s loving kindness, God’s faithfulness, God’s tenderness, God’s endearing affection towards us, Embracing the milk of His word, Meekness, God’s Hope and Promise and on and on!
Somehow the photos connected me with scriptures regarding love, strength and mercy. Friends I am sure that you must have your treasure trove of inspirational love scriptures which inspire and motivate you to love yourselves and others better! Here are just a few scriptures that I grown to appreciate more and more. Go on and wet your spiritual taste buds-enjoy:

John 14:21
Ephesians 2:4-6
I John 4:12
Matthew 5:44-45
Colossians 3:12-14
I Colossians 13:4-8
Romans 8:38-39
I John 4:7
John 14:23
I John 4:18
Jeremiah 31:3
Psalm 146:8-9

Do you agree that the best lessons of love that we give to each other are memorable/soothing thoughts that can’t escape us? And the kind expressions and let us not forget the very acts of love-demonstrations of love which carry us, comfort us and warm our hearts. During these lean days we as believers must grab hold of loving scriptures like Charley Brown’s Linus held on to his security blanket.

I remember visiting the Executive Director’s office of a huge human services organization on many occasions, I can’t tell you much about the many meetings to discuss client concerns, but what I most enjoyed about stepping into Mr. Johnson’s office was the art work he had acquired from a country in Africa. No, this art work wasn’t your typical palate of color and movement; it simply had a bird on a limb and with the words inscribed: Love Is an Action Word! Of all the pieces that hung throughout his office, the bird piece always seemed to grab me! I concur today, talk and sing all you wish about love, but if love seldom comes to take a seat in our lives-it’s a very bleak existence.

That brings me to this news.

My dear sister and friend Renita Shadwick is quite poignant in sharing how her loving granddaughters demonstrate God’s love for us. Renita and her family have done a remarkable job instilling the love of Jesus in those babies. I receive wonderfully written exposes’ about Zakiya and her siblings and have received Renita’s permission to share them with you. I wish to feature and entitle on my blog: The Blessedness of Believing several uplifting and inspiring family stories written by Renita as Baby Love Stories! I pray she’ll soon publish her writings which always, always hit me smack dab in my heart and causes me to never forget how special God’s love is towards us.

The lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying,
Yes, I have loved thee with an everlasting love;
therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.
Jeremiah 31:3

Joyfully Submitted by:
Linda Mose Meadows, author
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lesson’s and God’s Promises
Enjoy other writings Click on Blessed Chronicles http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com/

Blessed In Rough Times!

Hibiscus II Photography by Taylor Meadows 2008

“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I
satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” saith the Lord.
Psalm 91:14-16

My son phoned from his internship today with that frantic undertone in his voice. My mother instinct kicked in when I heard his voice. He tried to mask it with a cordial “Hi Mom!” but I knew better.

Finally we got to the heart of the matter, he needed money for food and I really don’t have to tell you that it was only several days ago that my paycheck was received and now there is little indication in my account that I was even paid.

I honored his request the way most of our parents do and sailed to the convenient branch banking location in my neighborhood supermarket to deposit something in his account. “Thank you Lord God!”

I chatted with my favorite Bank Teller/Manager and after we discussed favorite travel spots, she too got to the heart of the matter- the words fell from her lips, I am sure unexpectantly, that her husband was returning to the Middle East for his third tour of duty. I learned that after I inquired had he already been? My heart sank when she shared a faint smile. This smile belied the apparent truth that her heart was very heavy about her husband’s approaching departure date. I promised I pray for them.

After leaving the bank/supermarket with a few grocery items that had shot up in price in a weeks time, I just shook my head in amazement. There was one more stop before going home. I drove to my neighborhood Shoe Repair Shop that had not been maintaining their usual business hours. I quickly ran in the shop surprised that the door was ajar and wondered why there had been a sign on the door with the handwritten words Closed for several weeks?

The young proprietor confessed in an apologetic tone that his family was facing difficulty and he worked elsewhere during the day. He shared that financially they were having difficulty with their mortgage and his elderly mother now covered the shop. Once again I knew well about mortgage woes.

But friends what really resonated in my spirit was when the young man said, “But it’s going to be all right I guess!”

Without a doubt these are some of the most difficult times that this many people have encountered simultaneously in a while. It feels like more than a pinch, it’s often a strangle hold to stay afloat making a living. Yes, indeed it’s rough-it’s real, it’s personal hardships on an intimate level! But as our elders say,

“But God!” God’s word reminds us that He loves us, you-his children; no matter the heartship, and the tumultuous hardships. With God’s protection daily we can abide under His care: His Lordship, His deliverance and most assuredly His love and shelter will protect us even in the rough places.

Hang on friends and take to heart the scripture:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is [our] my refudge and [our] my fortress [our] my God in who I trust.”
Psalm 91:1,2
Joyfully Submitted by:
Linda Mose Meadows, author
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lesson’s and God’s Promises
Enjoy other writings Click on Blessed Chronicles http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com/

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